FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS AIM In South Africa there are many designers but not nearly enough product. It never ceases to amaze me how designers come and go, burn out or fail to come to grips with the business of fashion. I have a theory that most people really want to be famous, but then become totally disillusioned when they realise they havent done enough to sustain their brand DO YOUR RESEARCH This is probably the most important aspect of starting your own label.
Most successful labels emerge from a period of research, which includes testing the market on a very basic level (on friends or your local community at a flea market) and finding a gap in the market after assessing the competition.
KNOW WHAT SETS YOU APART Your brand or product has to tell a clear story.
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It also has to be flexible enough to adapt to the market trends and to evolve without losing its identity. This need not take the form of an obvious design feature, but a signature stamp needs to be encapsulated in your design ethos.
DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR ADVICE This is where ego plays a big part. So often, people dont want to admit that they are not doing as well as the press makes them out to be, so they fail to seek the help and advice they need until it is too late. There are many channels to turn to for advice “ but remember that taking on a partner is not always the solution.